KINGSTON — A police sergeant assigned to the Protective Services Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force was yesterday ambushed and shot dead as he walked home on Sunrise Crescent in St Andrew.
He has been identified as Alphanso Gossop, the bodyguard assigned to Denise Eldermire-Shearer — widow of former Prime Minister Hugh Shearer. He was in his mid 50s.
In a swift response, the police intercepted a Nissan Tida motor car — believed to be the getaway vehicle near Half-Way-Tree, the St. Andrew capital — and arrested its four male occupants. The vehicle was also seized.
According to the Constabulary Communication Network, Sergeant Gossop was walking home at minutes after 5 p.m. when he was shot and killed by men who were travelling in a Nissan Tida motor car. The attack happened a few metres from his home. It was not clear last night if his firearm was taken.
As news of the shooting spread, scores of people rushed to the scene where Gossop’s body lay, blood seeping from his mouth and side.
Many speculated as to the motive behind his gruesome death. One woman suggested that it may have been a reprisal killing.
“I heard that about three weeks ago a man tried to rob him and him kill the man; so, it looks like it’s a reprisal killing,” the woman said.
The woman’s account concurred with information supplied by a police source, who confirmed that the policeman was indeed attacked in the area in early June.
The sergeant was reportedly walking on the road when two armed robbers attempted to relieve him of items of jewellery. However, he was quick on the draw and shot one of the robbers dead while another was injured.
The robbers are believed to be among a group of thieves targeting middle-class communities off Red Hills Road.
Yesterday, several police officers who arrived on the scene had a difficulty coming to terms with the slaying of their colleague’s. It was particularly painful for his nephew Andre Gossop, who is also assigned to the Protective Services Division.
“I don’t know how the family is going to manage without him,” the younger Gossop said, disclosing that his uncle was married and leaves behind a two-year-old daughter.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Barrington Simpson, commanding officer at the Protective Service Division, said that Gossop had been working with the division for about 15 years. He said he was a hard worker and dedicated soul.
“It is so sad, I cannot express how I am feeling right now; it is the second incident in the past two months of a police officer in my division being murdered by these cold-blooded killers,” Simpson said, vowing that the police will not rest until they find the killers.
“We are going to get you, we are going for the killers, and we are going to bring them to book,” Simpson said. (OBSERVER)